Montana’s residents enjoy low rates of obesity, diabetes, and infant mortality thanks in part to the state’s Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), which emphasizes the importance of prevention when it comes to health matters. The state also enjoys adequate funding for public health programs. In fact, Montana had the highest per capita funding in the country for injury prevention in 2015.
Public health funding has increased dramatically in Montana in recent years with combined federal and state per capita funding increasing 41.9% between 2007 and 2014. The state receives a significant amount of federal funding and received the 6th highest per capita funding in the country from the CDC and the 2nd highest from the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2014. Such high levels of funding promote the hiring of public health officials and help to increase salary levels.
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One of the ways in which the DPHHS works to improve the health of Montana’s residents is with its newborn screening program. Public health officials screen infants for congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, and a variety of metabolic disorders within the first 28 days of life.
Epidemiologists were on high alert in March 2015 with the discovery of a Hantavirus case in Missoula County that had progressed to the pulmonary stage. While this individual is likely to survive, many previous victims were not so lucky. Montana is second only to New Mexico in the number of Hantavirus cases identified, and 28% of those infected died. Public health officials strongly suggest that citizens take preventative measures such as carefully disinfecting areas that have rodent infestations.
State public health officials in Montana work in concert with their colleagues at the local level, the healthcare industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations to maintain the high level of health that Montana’s residents enjoy.
A Salary Comparison Among Public Health Professionals in Billings
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry provides salaries for a number of public health professionals who worked in the Billings metropolitan statistical area in 2013. Some of the salaries varied substantially, but public health professionals with advanced degrees such as a Master of Public Health are likely to earn on the high end of these scales:
Epidemiologists with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services earned $28.12 and $28.11 an hour respectively in 2015, with annual salaries of $58,490 and $58,469 respectively.
An Analysis of the Salaries of Public Health Professionals in Montana
In the table below, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an analysis of hourly wages and annual salaries for a number of public health positions in Montana as of 2014: